WARSAW, Poland – An Ethiopian student said Wednesday that he was beaten in Warsaw by a drunken Polish man who shouted a racial slur at him, the latest in a series of violent racist incidents in Poland.
A police spokeswoman, Anna Kedzierzawska, confirmed to broadcaster TVN24 that the attack took place late Tuesday evening in Warsaw. She said the alleged attacker, a 31-year-old man, had a high blood alcohol level.
The Ethiopian citizen, 29-year-old Salomon Demissie, told TVN24 he was returning to his apartment when he was beaten and insulted on the street outside.
Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar told The Associated Press at least one incident of suspected hate violence happens every two weeks in Poland, often inspired by hate speech on the internet and mostly targeting people who look like they come from Arab countries.
Police, prosecutors and courts “usually react appropriately” in such cases, but politicians “usually downgrade their importance, saying that these are just acts of hooliganism and that we should not over-interpret individual cases,” Bodnar said.